Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, Announces the Launch of US-India Innovation Forum
NEW DELHI: With the goal of establishing a robust innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem through a partnership between U.S. and India,Wadhwani Chair in U.S . India Policy Studies announced the launch of the U.S. – India Innovation Forum. The launch event was marked by a special address from His Excellency Mr. Richard Verma, U.S. Ambassador to India and Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy.
Top experts on the role of innovation in an economy who also addressed the launch proceedings included Dr. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, Eric Alexander, Head of Business, Uber Asia, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Executive Chairman, Qualcomm Inc,Dr. Devang Khakhar, Director IIT-Bombay, Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation and Richard M. Rossow, Senior Fellow and Wadhwani Chair in U.S. India Policy Studies, CSIS.
The launch event formally recognized the Steering Committee chaired by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, Founder Chairman of the Wadhwani Foundation and Chairman, Symphony Technology Group (STG) and other eminent members like Dr. Mukesh Aghi,President, U.S. India Business Council, Amitabh Kant, CEO – NITI Aayog, Government of India, Dr. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Mumbai, Dr. Subra Suresh, President, Carnegie Mellon University and Venktesh Shukla, Chairman, TIE Silicon Valley among others.
While recounting Wadhwani Foundation’s journey on creating entrepreneurship and innovative ecosystems at the launch event of US-India Innovation Forum, Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation also dwelt on the need for Govt. support for private innovation research. Said Dr. Kela, “Innovation has become a key driver of economic prosperity and job growth especially in knowledge economies like India and U.S. Hence it is critical for the Governments to catalyze innovations. Past U.S investment in innovation has led to game-changing industries such as the creation of the Internet (DARPA) and the Internet economy, the Biotech Industry and Human Genome System (NIH), and global corporations such as Google (NSF funded the search algorithm), Apple (many components including touch-screen and SIRI have roots in US Govt. investment) and Uber (DARPA investment in GPS). In a globalized economy, joining hands to scale and leverage innovation capabilities is imperative and given the strong U.S-India relationship, the U.S-India Strategic and Commercial Dialog Initiative of our two Governments suggested this partnership last year, and the initiative was launched at the anniversary of this year’s meeting. This is a phenomenal first step in transforming the global economy through cross-border innovation partnership.”
The launch proceedings of the forum included three panels featuring some of the world’s leading experts in the three work streams of 1) Startup and Small Business Innovation Ecosystems; 2) University Research Networks; and 3) Govt. Support for Private Sector Innovation Research. The Forum will now seek to present a focused policy agenda that will accelerate the growth of high-impact innovation partnerships between American and Indian institutions on five dimensions of Innovation: innovation by large enterprises, innovation by small and medium enterprises, technology and non-technology start-ups, academic institutions, and government funded research.
One of the highlights from the event was on how The United States and India are natural innovation partners. As both countries look to grow their economies and increase jobs, successful innovative approaches to these challenges, even those that challenge existing concepts of a country’s development path, should be highlighted, and governments should make sure that any unnecessary regulatory barriers are removed. There is simply too much at stake. However, this forum will have a high powered expert panel with luminaries that are already showing leadership in the U.S. – India innovation space.
The launch of the U.S. – India Innovation Forum will precede the start of the 2016 U.S India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) being held in India this year. The work of the Innovation Forum is expected to be reflected in the S&CD deliberations.
The Primary Work Streams of the Forum will be working towards building a U.S India Research & Innovation Network, establishing a U.S India partnership to build regional innovation ecosystems and incubators, create a targeted small business innovation research fund program in India and highlight policy constraints to innovation partnerships. In the Secondary Work Stream, the Forum will focus on leveraging CSR funding for scaling innovation, guide Indian innovators to invest and collaborate jointly with the American institutions and boost exports of innovative products.